Fifa has banned the sale of alcohol at World Cup stadiums in Qatar just 48 hours before the tournament starts after the royal family in the country called for the ban.
“Following discussions between host country authorities and FIFA, a decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations, and licensed venues, removing sales point
“There is no impact to the sale of Bud Zero which will remain available at all Qatar’s World Cup stadiums,” added the FIFA statement.
“Host country authorities and FIFA will continue to ensure that the stadiums and surrounding areas provide an enjoyable, respectful and pleasant experience for all fans.”Budweiser was to sell beer within the ticketed perimeter surrounding each of the eight stadiums before and after each game.
Budweiser, which is one of FIFA’s partners, tweeted, “Well, this is awkward,” though the social media post was quickly deleted.
The beer brand is owned by the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev.
“The tournament organisers appreciate AB InBev’s understanding and continued support to our joint commitment to cater for everyone during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” continued the FIFA statement.
The move puts Fifa in a possible row with Budweiser, which is thought to have a sponsorship deal worth $75million with the organising body.
Brian Davidson, the first fan in Qatar to drink an official World Cup beer said: ‘I’m devastated, it doesn’t make sense. What’s wrong with having a beer at a match?
‘Beer wasn’t going to be sold inside the stadiums anyhow, just on the concourse.
‘Millions of people are coming from all over the world and they just want to watch football, enjoy the sun and knock back a few beers.
‘I’ll just have to go to the Fan Zones or a hotel for a drink but it’s a real pity that the Qataris have implemented this ban.’
German fan Daniel Schwestka, 30, from Dusseldorf, said: ‘Football without beer is not football.’
He added: ‘I go to many matches even in the third German leagues, and you can have a beer. It is normal to drink beer at football and this is the World Cup.
‘When I arrived in Doha yesterday, I had two bottles of whiskey, my luggage and they took it from me at the airport.
‘I knew it was going be difficult to drink here. But how can they ban beer at the actual stadiums. It is ridiculous,